In my first post I shared briefly about what caused me to enter the mental health field. One of the phrases I wrote caught my friend’s attention: “It seemed logical to me that all of our lives are made up of four relationships: our relationship with God, our relationship with others, our relationship with ourselves, and our relationship with God’s creation (nature, money, etc)”. She hoped I would expound on that so here we are. I do not claim to be a theologian and these thoughts are far from exhaustive (in fact countless books have been written about each specific one). Nonetheless here is my understanding of Scripture and relationships. Let me clarify that I am not suggesting these relationships are equal in nature but rather that they are present in all areas of our life.
This will be a two-part post due to length so be sure and check back next week for the second half!
Our Relationship with God
In Genesis 1:1-25 we are introduced to God’s creativity and genius as He begins to form the earth, one thing at a time, from the outlines of land and sea to the creatures that would inhabit the planet. Then in verse 26 we meet man, “Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness”. And in Genesis 2:7, “Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being”.
God not only literally sustains the breath in our lungs, but by creating us in His image He allows us to know things about Himself and be like Him in some ways. We may be creative, thinking, producing, capable of enjoying beauty (“and He saw that it was good”), relational, and valuing resting after completing our work.
Each of us at some point in our lives will make a decision regarding our relationship with God. Do we believe He even exists? Do we believe He exists in the form of the Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit)? Do we believe in Jesus? Do we believe He uniquely created us? Do we believe we have rebelled against Him? Do we believe only He can rescue us? Do we believe He cares about and is involved in our lives? The answers to these questions direct the entirety of our lives and relationships whether we are conscious of it or not.
Our Relationship with Others
Genesis 2:18- “The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” This is just the beginning of the earth’s population and the many varieties of relationships that would come from them. Spouses, parents, siblings, friends, aunts, uncles, cousins, employers, employees, enemies, perfect strangers. The list goes on and on! Unfortunately in Genesis 3 we also see the beginning of broken relationships and the effects of fear, blame and shame.
We will all make decisions regarding the relationships we have with others. Is it best to become a hermit and avoid everyone forever? Should I be friends with this or that person? Are they trustworthy? Is marriage right for me? And if so, will I choose to be committed and forgiving when times are hard? Should I remain single? How do I maintain healthy relationships with the variety of people in my life? Should I make the decision to avoid certain people due to unhealthy relationships? Am I able to accept and love my family despite our struggles? How do I best support them? Will I be kind and loving? Will I allow my own emotions to dictate how I treat others? Aware or not, we answer these questions on a daily basis, for better or worse.
And here’s where I cut it off! I have one friend who is probably cringing right now as she is not a fan of the two-part post. If you share her sentiments…well, I don’t know what to tell you except check back next week for part two! Until then let’s consider our relationships with God and others asking ourselves what changes we need to make and practicing thankfulness for how far we’ve come.